By definition, trivia is an unimportant or obscure fact, but that doesn’t mean that it’s useless. As Healthline points out, indulging a love of trivia can have real benefits for seniors. Testing your knowledge of trivia is a great way to keep your brain active, and that boost of satisfaction that you feel when you get the right answer is great for your mental health. As an added bonus, sharing your love of trivia with friends or family during a phone call or video chat may spark an interesting conversation. With the leaves changing color and the days getting shorter, now is the perfect time to start swapping autumn trivia for seniors. What fun facts can you use to amaze your friends and family?
Autumn Trivia for Seniors
Autumn arrives every year, but no matter how many times you’ve lived through this season, there’s always more to learn. When you’re ready to stump your friends with fall facts, these tidbits of autumn trivia for seniors may come in handy:
The rich hues of fall leaves exist throughout the leaf’s lifespan.
The vibrant reds, punchy oranges, and vivid yellow pigments that make fall foliage famous are actually present throughout the year. Why do they remain hidden until autumn? The sunlight is to blame. During the spring and summer, the strong sunlight fuels plant cells rich in chlorophyll. This chemical not only fuels a leaf’s efforts to turn sunlight into energy but also gives it the familiar green color. When the days get shorter and the sun’s power fades, the chlorophyll breaks down. As a result, the leaves begin to change color, and beloved fall hues emerge.
Do you find fiery red leaves especially beautiful? The more sugar a leaf is storing, the redder it appears!
Squirrels are smarter in autumn.
If you’ve ever tried to keep squirrels out of a bird feeder, garden, or trash can, then you already know that squirrels are clever critters. What you might not realize is that these notoriously bright-eyed and bushy-tailed mammals are smarter in the fall. Every autumn, squirrels bury hundreds of caches of nuts and seeds to serve as a food source through the winter months. During this fall caching period, the average grey squirrel shows a 15-percent increase in the size of its hippocampus. That’s the area of the brain where emotion and memory are centered. Could this boost in brain size make squirrels better at answering trivia questions? Sadly, no one knows for sure.
Fall is the season for lovers.
While summer loving may be the subject of countless songs, a Facebook study found that summer is more accurately the season of breakups. When it comes to falling in love, autumn takes the crown. That’s the season when the number of people who change their “single” status to “in a relationship” or “engaged” exceeds the yearly average. Oddly enough, a variety of scientific studies indicate that fall also happens to be when testosterone levels, which are tied to attraction, spike to their highest levels in both men in women. It seems like fall really is the season for lovers.
Pumpkins are grown on six continents.
If you guessed that Antarctica is the only continent where fall’s famous orange gourd doesn’t grow, you’re right. With pumpkin pie, jack-o’-lanterns, and pumpkin spice everything, pumpkins are all but synonymous with fall. However, they weren’t the first choice for jack-o’-lantern carvers. These fun, Halloween lanterns got their start in Ireland, where people initially carved faces into turnips before transitioning to pumpkins.
A lack of sunlight can cause weight gain in autumn and winter.
Vitamin D is produced by the skin when it comes into contact with sunlight. With less sunlight and less exposed skin available, your body makes less of it in the fall. Unfortunately, having less vitamin D in your system slows the breakdown of fat and increases fat storage. That combination leads to weight gain. Of course, with both Halloween and Thanksgiving to celebrate, food may still deserve at least some of the blame for seasonal weight gain.
It’s always helpful to have some interesting conversation topics in your back pocket. Hold on to these bits of autumn trivia for seniors so that you’re prepared to enliven any dwindling conversations.
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to join an exercise class or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.